Social benefits and impacts of planting trees on farms

Exploring the social and environmental drivers, benefits and impacts of planting trees on farms

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Expressions of interest are invited for potential PhD students to join a project team exploring tree planting on farms to improve ecological and commercial outcomes. The Perennial Prosperity project is exploring the contribution that tree plantings (both new and established) can make to farming enterprises in terms of financial and environmental (natural capital) benefits. It will examine how these benefits can be captured and integrated into farm accounts so that the full value of trees on farms can be recognised.

There is an opportunity for one or more PhD students to join the existing project team to examine aspects aligned with the current project objectives. Of particular interest are projects that explore the social and environmental questions of the impacts of tree plantings on ecosystem services (such as biodiversity, carbon, agricultural production, apiary and amenity). For example: Can nature-based solutions such as tree planting on farms build resilience to climate change and drought? How are trees perceived in terms of risks and benefits? What implications are there for local communities, local environments and for scaling up?

The advantages of joining an established, large project team working across organisations including CSIRO, UTAS, Private Forests for Tasmania, Greening Australia and others, include ready access to a network of experts, local organisations and participants on the ground, opportunities for skill development in quantitative and qualitative data collection, participation in a broad range of activities and events associated with the project, including paper development, field days and media events.

Interested applicants would need to be eligible to receive a university scholarship to cover expenses. There may be opportunities for students to apply for a top-up scholarship from CSIRO.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Saideepa Kumar


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements and the following additional eligibility criteria specific to this project:

  • An undergraduate degree in sociology, human geography, social anthropology, economics or related social science discipline. Experience in these areas will be considered if the undergraduate degree is in an unrelated discipline

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Qualitative and quantitative data analysis and skills
  • Demonstrated capacity in critical thinking

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Understanding of /experience working in Australian agriculture

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Saideepa Kumar, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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